The Newport Cubs and Stayton Eagles square off tonight in a pivotal 4A Boys Soccer match, featuring two Oregon West Conference title contenders as well as 2017 State Title contenders.
One player who is making an impact in the Cubs’ 7-1 season so far is Jose “Chepito” Gonzalez, a 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-League selection in 2016. He also was voted the MODA player of the game in the 2016 State Championship game vs Madras.
Gonzalez, a junior mid-fielder, scored the Cubs only goal in the first overtime in that game. He had 11 goals and 6 assists last season playing from the center-mid position. And this season, Gonzalez says, “I’m on pace to get more goals than last season. I think I’ll have a better season than last year. I really just want to have success as a team.”
Coach Ollie Richardson says Jose “is an exceptional player with a great first touch and has the highest soccer IQ of any player I have ever coached.”
A team captain this year, Gonzalez credits his teammates for his, and his team’s, success so far this season. Two people he says have made a big difference are Tryston Wolf and Cristopher Guzman-Arxola.
With the loss of a strong defense to graduation last year, the Cubs had to change to a 4-5-1 formation. “This added another center mid and they have really taken over that roll” Gonzalez says, “they both play center mid with myself and Romario (Mendoza). Tryston has really seemed to mature his game, and Cristopher is really nice to have from the bench. He comes in with energy and works hard every minute he’s given.”
Gonzalez, and all the Cubs, are aware of the importance of today’s game against Stayton. “I believe whoever wins this game will win league.”
The game is at 6:00 pm live on OregonSportsBeat.com.